Cisco plans more globalization centers

BANGALORE – Cisco Systems will set up more globalization centres in the next two to three years, a company executive said on Tuesday.

The company set up a globalization centre in Bangalore a year ago, in line with its strategy to decentralize global corporate functions to locations worldwide that can be sources of talent, innovation, and also key markets for the company.

The focus of the Bangalore globalization centre is to develop technologies and business models appropriate to emerging markets. The centre in Bangalore is called Cisco East, in contrast to Cisco’s corporate headquarters at San Jose which is referred to as Cisco West.

Among the other countries under evaluation for setting up globalization centers are China and Mexico, Wim Elfrink, Cisco’s chief globalization officer and executive vice-president of Cisco Services, told reporters at a media briefing on the first anniversary of the Bangalore center.

Cisco first came to India to benefit from lower engineering costs in the country, which can be as low as one-third that in the U.S., said Leo Scrivner, vice president of human resources at Cisco.

The next wave of globalization is not about cost benefits alone but about speed and scale, local management, partnering, and developing products and services closer to the market, Elfrink said. Cisco works with top Indian outsourcers on product development and services delivery.

While Europe’s population is shrinking and the average age of the U.S. population is increasing, India and parts of Asia have fast-growing and young populations, Elfrink said. India and some other countries in Asia offer more talent and also the fastest-growing markets, he added.

Cisco announced last year that 20 per cent of its key corporate staff across all functions would be located in India by 2012. The company is also planning to increase the number of staff in India from 4,673 currently to 10,000 by then.

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